Tasmanian disability expos

Wellways’ Tasmanian teams exhibited at three Disability Expos held recently in Burnie, Hobart and Launceston. 

The Tasmanian Disability Expo managed by Speakout Advocacy connects people living with disability - their families and carers - with local products and services. This year 117 exhibitors were at the three events.

The Wellways booths were well attended in each location. Our staff made connections at many levels; from people requiring our services to tertiary students looking for placements and students who had just completed their studies eager to launch their careers. 

There were many enquiries from high school students hungry for knowledge of the sector, which they saw had potential career opportunities.

The disability expos provided an excellent opportunity for Wellways’ staff to refresh their knowledge about the latest services available and embrace networking opportunities with others in the industry.

Ultimately the expos are about giving people with disabilities the information they need to be able to make choices, take control and enjoy a fulfilling life in an inclusive community.

The Art of Recovery – Peninsula Art Exhibition

The 2017 Mental Health Week Peninsula Art Exhibition is an annual event showcasing the talents of artists affected by mental health issues – this includes people with lived experience, their carers and significant others. 

The exhibition promotes Mental Health Week and uses art as a medium to encourage understanding of people who live with mental health issues. Artistic expression can play an important role in people’s recovery journey. They are able to express their thoughts and feelings through art which can be incredibly therapeutic.

The exhibition includes over 140 pieces in a diverse range of media including painting, sculpture, drawing and photography. Many of the artists share the inspiration behind their work which creates a very powerful and unique viewing experience.

“Creativity has given me calm and solace throughout my struggles,” says artist Annabelle Carver. “I found happiness upon every stroke of colour, guiding me to a sense of peace I never knew existed.”

At the recent Artist Soiree event, the People’s Choice Award was won by Daniel Coulson (pictured above) for his artwork ‘How Does It Feel’. The runner-up was Sylvia Payne for her piece, ‘Worn III’. 

The exhibition is free is on until Saturday 28 October at Cube 37, Frankston Arts Centre, Victoria. Visit the website for more information.

Frankston Fluoro Friday

Dress in fluoro or bright colours and drum up a storm at Wellways Frankston’s Mental Health Week event on Friday 13 October at Frankston Arts Centre.

Wellways staff member Harald Riedel will also lead a drumming workshop on the day. 

With a 30 year career in the music industry, Harald has worked and toured with members of Kylie Minogue’s back-up band and played with band members of Suzi Quatro, Boney M, Pink Floyd, John Farnham and Chocolate Starfish to name a few.

Event includes food, refreshments, showbags, face painting and entertainment. Register here.

A perfect day on the green raises money for mental health

Keen golfers enjoyed perfect weather for SEW-EURODRIVE’s charity golf day at Kooringal Golf Club in Altona on 2 October.

The winning team was Golden Messenger who each received a golf bag, some clubs, a golf towel and pitch repairer, while runners-up JDN Monocrane each took home a Tigers kids’ golf set.

In addition to the proceeds from tickets and sponsorship, gold-coin donations for the putting and hole-in-one competitions raised a fantastic $485. The total proceeds will be announced at the SEW-EURODRIVE charity Gala Dinner on Friday 27 October.

A huge thanks to all the volunteers and staff who made the event a resounding success. For more details and ticketing inquiries for the Gala Dinner, email or call (03) 9933 1083.

Brainwaves walks for wellbeing

Kicking off Mental Health Week activities in Melbourne, four Brainwaves volunteers and two Wellways staff donned their sneakers for the Mental Health Wellbeing 4km walk on Sunday 8 October.

Wellways volunteer coordinator Chiara Dargin and Helpline coordinator Elle Morrison, plus Brainwaves’ members Lauren, Rebecca, Suzanne and Helen, did an amazing job. 

The Brainwaves walkers managed to record vox pops with other participants, playing these interviews during the 3CR Community Radio Brainwaves show on Wednesday 11 October.  

Money raised from the walk will support a Mental Health Foundation Australia helpline to support first-year university students. Wellways congratulates our fantastic team of walkers and thanks all who participated.

Wellways Warrnambool turns a life around

Andrew’s life spiralled out of control in his 30s as his drug and alcohol intake increased. He became someone who friends and family didn’t want to be around.

“I was really scared of who I had become. I was at my lowest when I was first admitted to a mental health unit. It was a real eye-opener,” Andrew said.

“Later in my 40s, I became desperate again and attempted suicide. But fortunately I called a crisis helpline and was admitted to another mental health unit where I finally received a diagnosis for my condition.

“I suffer from borderline personality and post-traumatic stress disorder which includes bouts of depression, and for a long time, I think I was living two totally different lives, where one person was afraid of the other.”

Now with the NDIS rollout and the support of Wellways in Warrnambool, Andrew has turned his life around.

“I got married to the love of my life and now understand what a healthy relationship looks like. I take medication and use mindfulness techniques for my illness and I’ve been clean and sober for more than two years,” Andrew said.

“With the support of Wellways, my family and friends, I have been to the depths of despair and have come out the other side.”

Wellways helps people like Andrew to get the most out of their NDIS plan, by providing a one-stop shop for a range of mental health and disability supports to achieve their goals and aspirations.

Read the Warrnambool Standard article here.

Coloured ribbons on trees shed light on a serious topic

Recently Wagga Wagga City Council donated two trees to the Wellways Wagga branch, to help spread a message of suicide prevention throughout the community. 

Wellways used the trees in a campaign coinciding with World Suicide Prevention Day and asked people to tie a coloured ribbon on the trees as a symbol of hope and regeneration.

“The theme was ‘take a minute, change a life’, so encouraging people to stop and reflect, have a conversation with the Wellways team and place a ribbon on the tree really resonated in a positive way with the community,” Wellways regional manager Zoe Evans said.

The trees were later planted in two parks. A Quercus Robur which was in the Wagga Wagga Marketplace has been planted in Collins Park and a Eucalyptus Leucoxylon Rosea that was at South City shopping centre has found a new home in the Botanic Gardens.

Wellways suicide prevention activities are supported by Australian Government money through the Primary Healthcare Network. Read Wagga Wagga council news for information.

Promoting recovery through innovations in collaboration and community programs

Researchers Jeremy Le Roux, Ingrid Amann, Jennie Fairclough, Katharine Davies, Tessa Reimers and Melissa Petrakis shared their findings from the first two years of a Prevention and Recovery Care (PARC) collaboration between Wellways and St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne at TheMHS Learning Network conference in Sydney.

They presented two studies: 

  • How a Mental Health Community Support and Clinical Partnership is supporting social inclusion and recovery in the community
  • Life in Community program: The consumer experience of engaging in community programs in a Prevention and Recovery Care service

During the first two years of the program, there were 139 participants and there were fewer hospital admissions in the year following for 70 per cent. 

Findings in the second study showed those who were active participants in their own recovery - through programs such as Wellways Life in Community - had improved recovery along with improved social inclusion outcomes.

The researchers concluded that using a person-centred approach in delivering a PARC program enables a shared focus for clinical and support needs of people to be met, including delivery of programs with outreach into the community, building on natural supports and developing social connections.